The biosynthesis of iturin, an antibiotic containing a beta-amino fatty acid, was studied by incubating Bacillus subtilis in the presence of various 14C-labelled precursors. Sodium acetate or palmitic acid were incorporated into the beta-amino acids of iturin. Among the alpha-amino acids (asparagine, glutamine, serine, proline and tyrosine) in the peptidic part of iturin, asparagine appears to be the best precursor. In the presence of sodium [14C]acetate or [14C]asparagine, there was a synthesis of radioactive compound (compound X) before the synthesis of radioactive iturin. Compound X contained asparagine and/or aspartic acid, glutamine and/or glutamic acid and beta-hydroxy fatty acids.